Poudre School District

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Poudre School District
The logo of the Poudre School District. It appears to be a blue person wielding a golden star.
2407 LaPorte Avenue
, Larimer County, Colorado, 80521[1]
United States
District information
TypeLocal, Public
MottoEducate...Every Child, Every Day[6]
EstablishedJuly 1960[3]
SuperintendentSandra Smyser[4]
SchoolsElementary 32, Middle 12, High 9
NCES District ID0803990[5]
Students and staff
ColorsBlue and gold         
Other information

The Poudre School District (R-1) is a K–12 public school district in Larimer County in northern Colorado. The district operates and manages the public schools in the city of Fort Collins, as well as in the towns of Wellington, Timnath and Windsor, and unincorporated communities of Larimer County including Laporte and Livermore.[8] The district is one of the fastest growing in Northern Colorado, adding 500 students — about the size of an elementary school — each year.[9]

The district was formed in 1960 by the consolidation of several dozen existing districts in Larimer County, and is the ninth largest in the state. The district manages 31 elementary schools, 10 middle schools, four comprehensive high schools, and four alternative high schools. Additionally, the district manages community early childhood education programs and special transition facilities for students with disabilities. Five Fort Collins charter schools are chartered through PSD, including the Fort Collins Montessori School, Mountain Sage Community School, Ridgeview Classical School and Liberty Common Elementary and High School. The district is led by a seven-member Board of Education.[10]

The school district is the second-largest employer in Fort Collins. The minimum teacher salary in PSD is $36,207, and the maximum $83,690.[11] The average teacher salary of $53,383 is slightly higher than the state average.[12] In the 2015–2016 school year, the district had a total PK-12 enrollment of 29,527.[13]


The original school building, c. 1910

The first school in Fort Collins was a one-room school house located in Auntie Stone's cabin from 1866-1887.[14] In 1887, the Franklin building was completed at the corner of Mountain and Howes and the students all moved to the new facility. The Fort Collins High School occupied the top floor of the Franklin building, and the lower grades, 1st-8th, met together in the bottom of the building.[15] In 1903, the high school and several of the grade level classes were moved to a new location on Meldrum street where the current Lincoln Center now stands. Through this period of time, the middle grades were grouped together with the lower grades and simply called the grade school. By 1920, Wellington and Waverly both had junior high schools.[16] But it wasn't until 1922 that Fort Collins rearranged the grades in order to have a junior high.[17] In the beginning, the junior high only consisted of eighth grade, with most of the students located within the Fort Collins High School building. In 1925, the high school moved to a new location, 1400 Remington Street (now used for the arts at CSU), and the junior high took over the building. A memorial to the old school building, written at the time of its demolition in the mid-1970s, states that the Fort Collins Junior High was departmentalized in 1928.[18]

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Bacon
  • Bauder
  • Beattie
  • Bennett
  • Bethke Elementary
  • Cache La Poudre
  • Dunn
  • Eyestone
  • Harris Bilingual
  • Irish
  • Johnson
  • Kruse
  • Laurel
  • Liberty Common
  • Linton
  • Livermore
  • Lopez
  • McGraw
  • O'Dea
  • Olander
  • Polaris Expeditionary Learning
  • PSD Global Academy (PGA)
  • Putnam
  • Rice
  • Red Feather
  • Ridgeview Classical
  • Riffenburgh
  • Shepardson
  • Stove Prairie
  • Tavelli
  • Timnath
  • Traut Core Knowledge
  • Werner
  • Zach

Middle schools[edit]

  • Blevins
  • Boltz
  • Cache La Poudre
  • Kinard Core Knowledge
  • Lesher
  • Liberty Common School
  • Lincoln
  • Polaris
  • Preston
  • PSD Global Academy
  • Ridgeview Classical
  • Webber
  • Wellington

High schools[edit]

There are four comprehensive public senior high schools in Fort Collins Colorado operated by the Poudre School District. Each serves students in different neighborhood sections of the city. The district also operates four alternative high schools for students who thrive in smaller environments or require flexible educational options. Two public charter high schools are chartered through PSD: Ridgeview Classical Schools and Liberty Common High School. Together the schools serve roughly 8,000 students.

Growth and long-range facilities plan[edit]

Poudre School District is one of the fastest growing districts in northern Colorado, adding about 500 students (equivalent to the size of an elementary school) every year.[19] To accommodate the rapid growth, the district plans to build three new schools. These will include one combined middle/high school in Wellington, another middle/high school east of I-25, and one elementary school in southeast Fort Collins. The school board approved the long-range facilities plan on April 26, 2016, opening the possibility of seeking an associated $375 million bond to fund the construction. Board members were scheduled to decide by Aug. 9, 2016 whether to include the bond vote on the November 2016 ballot. Increasing property values within district boundaries, coupled with the retirement of a former bond debt, means the current property tax rate would not increase for residents, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports.[20]

If the bond is not approved by the board or passed by voters, the school district will implement an alternative growth plan to accommodate the booming student population, including managing school choice, adding modular classrooms outside crowded schools, changing school boundaries and creating larger class sizes.[21]


PSD has received several national awards for its innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs and educate students on sustainability. PSD was one of the first school districts in the country to create a Sustainability Management System in 2006, which integrates all schools and departments into a plan to reduce environmental impact. Since then, the district has achieved over 300 Energy Star awards [22] from the US Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency, and saved over $2 million in electrical and natural gas costs.[23]

In 2016, the US Department of Education recognized Poudre School District as a Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee, one of just 15 districts across the country to earn the award.[24] The award recognizes the district's success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5,000 tons since 2006,[25] diverting nearly 1,000 tons of waste (the environmental equivalent of planting more than 16,000 trees and letting them grow for a decade),[26] and creating curriculum that teaches the principles of sustainability.[27]

Additionally, the US Department of Energy recognized PSD as one of the top five Education Sector partners to reach and exceed both its water and energy savings goals in the 2016 Better Buildings Challenge. The district achieved 25 percent energy savings over the last five years, and a 29 percent reduction in water use.[28]

21st-century learning[edit]

Funds from the 2010 bond/mill levy override were used to improve access to educational technology in all schools. The money provided for a team of ed tech trainers, who teach teachers how to integrate technology like laptops and SmartBoards into their classroom through hands-on collaboration and professional development classes.[29] As a result, teachers have produced innovative curriculum, like Skyping national experts into the classroom to chat with students about hot topics, or integrating NPR podcasts into English classes to connect classic novels to modern day injustices.[30] PSD's goal is to provide a learning environment for all students that closely resembles 21st-century workplaces.[31]

Partnerships with local engineering companies like HP, Intel, Otterbox,[32] Avago, and AMD have proved beneficial for students, exposing them to concepts like design thinking during the annual elementary Engineering Week[33] and providing resources to create dynamic Maker Spaces in school media centers, areas open to any student that are outfitted with everything from 3D printers to sewing machines.[34]

This year, a female undergrad student attending Colorado State University started an engineering club just for girls at Zach Elementary School, to provide the kind of hands-on engineering experiences she wished she'd had growing up.[35]

French Field[edit]

French Field is a sporting arena in Fort Collins Colorado that is used primarily by the city's four public senior high schools for their sporting events such as football, soccer, lacrosse, and track and field events. It was initially constructed in 1974, located on the Rocky Mountain High School campus.[36] The stadium is capable of seating 6,000 spectators and is used for day and nighttime events, and is fully capable of doing so as it is equipped with full field lighting.[37]

Because French Field is immediately adjacent to Rocky Mountain High School, a common misconception is to assume that is used only by Rocky Mountain High School. However, it is also used by the other public senior high schools, including Poudre High School, Fort Collins High School and Fossil Ridge High School.

The stadium is equipped with a standard football field and goalposts but is also marked for use in soccer and lacrosse games. The stadium also boasts an all-weather track that circles the playing field. This is used by the Poudre School District for its many track and field events, which involve not only the city's high schools, but also many junior high schools and elementary schools. Other non-Poudre School District sports leagues do sometimes make use of the stadium for championship events, but in general the stadium is used only for school-related athletic events. Approximately thirty-five to forty athletic events take place at the stadium each fall and spring.

French Field is capable of seating 6,000 spectators, with the stadium divided into home and away bleachers. The home team stands are larger in width and height. Several press boxes also sit atop the home bleachers and are used by school coaches, stadium announcers, and radio sportscasters. French Field's away stands are smaller, since games are typically played against out-of-city teams; however, on occasion, in-town teams are pitted against each other, and the away school can easily fill French Field's away bleachers. Six floodlight towers are capable of fully illuminating the field for nighttime games. Both sets of spectator stands offer concessions stands and bathrooms, but away stands have only two ticket windows, while the home stands operate four. There are basic locker rooms for both home and away sports teams and officials, and Poudre Valley Hospital provides ambulance services to all varsity football games and many other sporting events.

New sound and lighting systems as well as a new scoreboard were installed in 2007, and the stadium's press boxes and ticket booths were updated with newer electrical and heating systems since its initial construction in 1974.


  1. ^ "About Us". Poudre School District. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  2. ^ "PSD Demographics | Poudre School District". www.psdschools.org. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  3. ^ "History of PSD | Poudre School District". www.psdschools.org. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Superintendent's Office | Poudre School District". www.psdschools.org. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Search for Public School Districts – District Detail for Poudre School District R-1". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  6. ^ "PSD Vision and Mission". Poudre School District. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  7. ^ "Poudre School District Official 2016-2017 October Count Student Enrollment" (PDF). Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  8. ^ "About Us | Poudre School District".
  9. ^ "Long Range Facilities Planning". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  10. ^ Board of Education
  11. ^ "Salary Schedule T, Poudre School District Educator Salary Schedule, 2015-2016 School Year". Retrieved September 14, 2015.
  12. ^ [he average teacher salary of $53,383 is slightly higher than the state average. "2015-16 Teacher FTE and Average Salary"] Check |url= value (help). Colorado Department of Education. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  13. ^ Poudre School District. Poudre School District https://web.archive.org/web/20160812172656/https://www.psdschools.org/webfm/11415. Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Fort Collins History Connection
  15. ^ Fort Collins History Connection: Brief Timeline
  16. ^ "Commencements in Three Schools On During this Week". Fort Collins Courier. Fort Collins, Larimer County. May 23, 1921. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  17. ^ "Fort Collin's First Junior High Formed in 1922", North of Prospect, January 31, 2013, archived from the original on January 16, 2014
  18. ^ Memories of an old friend: Fort Collins Junior High, p. 11
  19. ^ Hill, Denny. "PSD Facility Master Plan: Phase 1". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  20. ^ Kyle, Sarah Jane (April 26, 2016). "PSD board approves plan to build schools". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  21. ^ Kyle, Sarah Jane (March 21, 2016). "PSD growth plan: 3 new schools, $375M bond". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  22. ^ "U.S. Dept. of Education recognizes PSD as national leader in sustainability". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  23. ^ Wortman, David. "Bringing Green Together: Sustainability Management Systems Unite School Sustainability Efforts". Green Schools Initiative. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  24. ^ Kyle, Sarah Jane (April 22, 2016). "Poudre School District awarded for sustainability". Fort Collins Coloradoan. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  25. ^ "U.S. Dept. of Education recognizes PSD as national leader in sustainability". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  26. ^ Kyle, Sarah Jane (May 20, 2016). "PSD students divert nearly 1,000 tons of waste". Fort Collins Coloraodan. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  27. ^ Horan, Kyle (September 29, 2015). "Students wade into River Week at Cache La Poudre Middle School". Denver Channel 7. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  28. ^ Moniz, Ernest. "Moving our Nation Forward, Faster Progress Report 2016" (PDF). Better Buildings Challenge. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  29. ^ "School and EdTech Partnerships". Educational Technology. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  30. ^ "10 ways teachers are using Ed Tech to reinvent learning". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  31. ^ ""Tech"-excellence". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  32. ^ Vincent, Tricia. "Fort Collins groups team up to provide school supplies to Poudre School District Students". Otter Cares. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  33. ^ "Local engineers visit elementary schools for National Engineering Week". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  34. ^ Horan, Kyle (May 16, 2015). "Poudre School District gets $90k grant to spur innovation in schools". Denver Channel 7. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  35. ^ "GEMS provides hands-on STEM learning for girls". Poudre School District. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  36. ^ "French Field Policies | Poudre School District". www.psdschools.org. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  37. ^ "History of French Field in Fort Collins". Coloradoan. Retrieved 2018-04-23.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′20″N 105°07′20″W / 40.58886°N 105.12213°W / 40.58886; -105.12213